Snow Water Equivalent Calculator – Convert Snow to Water Volume

Calculate the equivalent water volume for snow pack for an area by entering the dimensions of the area and depth of the snow.

Water Volume:

Gallons Water
Learn how we calculated this below

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How to Calculate the Equivalent Volume of Water for Snow

Snow water equivalent (SWE) is a measure of the volume of water contained in snow over an area. Calculate the water volume of snow using these easy steps.

Step One: Calculate the Volume of Snow

The first step is to estimate the volume of snow, which can be done by multiplying the length and width in feet to find the area, then multiplying by the depth of the snow in feet. This is the volume in cubic feet.

You can also use a volume calculator for this task. Find the depth of snow using a ruler or stick to see how deep the snow is.

Step Two: Estimate the Snow Density

In order to find how much water is contained in the snow its density needs to be estimated. Snow varies in density depending on temperature and water content. Ranging from fresh powder to solid ice, snow can contain different amounts of water depending on its form.

Freshly fallen powder generally has a density of 3.12 to 4.37 pounds per cubic foot. Wind-packed snow has a density of 21.85 to 24.97 pounds per cubic foot. Wet snow has a density of 24.97 to 51.82 pounds per cubic foot. Ice has a density of around 57 pounds per cubic foot.

Step Three: Calculate the Snow Weight

Next, calculate the snow weight by multiplying the volume in cubic feet by the density in pounds per cubic foot. The result will be the total weight. Try our snow weight calculator to estimate the snow weight.

Step Four: Solve the Water Volume

Armed with the weight of the snow it’s possible to estimate its water volume. The volume of water is right around 0.11985 gallons per pound, though it varies based on the temperature. To estimate the volume of water in gallons simply multiple the total weight of the snow by 0.11985.

You might also be interested in our water weight calculator.